Mooning Over Italian Designer Diego Percossi Papi’s Dreamy Earrings

Diego Percossi Papi has been making Sole e Luna earrings for nearly as long as he’s been making jewelry. “The sun and moon earrings are born in the late ’70s,” says the designer, who opened his small atelier in 1968 in the center of Rome. Yet he has never tired of the celestial collection: “The dialectic of opposites has always been an intriguing topic for me, and I continue to develop it in new colors and shapes.” Hence, this spectacular new sapphire, topaz, enamel, and pearl pair, which retail for €1450 ($1,900) in vermeil or €3650 in gold. The sun and moon, explains Percossi Papi, are the perfect embodiment of the “baroque soul” that permeates his work: “The baroque is freedom, asymmetry, light, and shadow….” And, of course, Rome itself.

Fast Company

Even with the cloisonné enamel and micro-mosaic of tiny natural pearls, these elaborate earrings—which also feature 5.10 cts. t.w. blue and 4.80 cts. yellow sapphires, 8 cts. t.w. blue topaz, and cultured pearls—took only about 25 hours to make. “Of course I speak of a highly skilled jeweler belonging to my laboratory,” says Percossi Papi. “Fortunately I have a huge capacity to design and run. For me, it’s more satisfying, the realization of an idea. An object to be studied in detail and in a long time for me becomes boring and uninteresting.”

Blue Sun

“Especially for the sun, I use colors out of the common feeling,” says Percossi Papi, referring to the indigo enamel. “The rain of stones and pearls in the moonlight is the starry sky and emphasizes the concept of femininity inherent in the moon. The sun with its sharp edges represents the greatest angularity of the male psychology.”

Fly Me to the Moon

The slightly asymmetrical hang of the pendants, explains the designer, is simply about balance: “The moon is longer to compensate for the sun, that it weighs more color and size. The sun would be much more invasive, with its large areas of enamel, is a form of balance and respect for the moon.”

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